Large Insurer Restricting Where Patients Get CT Scans, MRIs

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s largest health insurer will restrict where customers can get CT scans and MRIs in non-emergency situations.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that the change will occur for people insured by Anthem in March.

Beneficiaries will have to seek imaging services at free-standing facilities instead of hospital-based ones. The policy change does not include X-rays or mammograms.

Virginia Anthem spokesman Scott Golden said the move will save up to hundreds of dollars per scan and help keep premiums affordable.

But the change has raised some concerns. Julian Walker, a spokesman for the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association, said in statement that freestanding facilities may lack the capability to quickly assess a patient’s condition. He also said the new policy could require patients to travel farther and visit multiple locations for treatment.

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